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Hate Crimes on Rise in OC

Incidents targeting racial minorities, religious groups and gays and lesbians all climbed in 2011.

Hate crimes in Orange County jumped 14 percent in 2011, ending a four-year decline, according to the 20th annual report from OC Human Relations, released Thursday.

Last year, there were 64 documented hate crimes reported, up from 56 in 2010, according to Rusty Kennedy, executive director of OC Human Relations.

In 2009, 77 hate crimes were logged. There were 82 in 2008 and 101 in 2007, Kennedy said. Hate crimes involving religious bigotry were also up, according to the report. Eight of the 15 religious hate crimes targeted the Jewish
community, seven were against Muslims and the rest involved Roman Catholics and Mormons.

Hate crimes involving sexual orientation rose from five incidents in 2010 to seven last year. Kennedy said the commission suspects hate crimes against gays, lesbians and transgender people are underreported.

Black residents have been the main target of OC hate crimes going back to 2003, Kennedy said.

Although only 2 percent of Orange County residents are black, they took the brunt of 30 percent of hate crimes last year, according to the report.

Just last week, vandals painted a swastika on the porch of a black family in Ladera Ranch, Kennedy said.

There were seven incidents involving Latinos, Kennedy said, adding that the commission believes Latinos are reluctant to report hate crimes.

"African Americans are again the most frequently targeted," Kennedy said. "They represent 19 of the (hate crime incidents)."

"The Human Relations Commission has been issuing this report for 20 years, and I think for us, we want to say the county does not accept this type of hate," Kennedy said. "In this time of partisan politics there are the kinds of things that divide us, but one thing that brings us together is our stand against hate crimes."

This year, the Orange County Board of Supervisors for tracking hate crimes by $50,000. The commission has an annual budget of about $1.5 million, most of which comes from fundraising.

The commission also works with local school leaders to promote anti-bullying programs to try to address racism as well, Kennedy said.

"We call (the program) Bridges,'' Kennedy said. ``Really, at its core, it's to fight hate and bigotry."

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS

Why do you think the region saw a reversal in trends with this jump in hate crimes?

- City News Service

MFriedrich September 04, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Shri, thanks for the question. I don't know that I have thought this through as well as I would like. I do not know for sure, but I suspect that there are judges in Los Angeles county, Orange county and other parts of the US who would respond by saying "I know a hate crime when I see it". I don't know why they would respond so confidently. Thought crime is not a crime in this United States. I suspect too that none of these judges would have a good explanation for the vast deviation in historical sentencing (remedy) for such "hate" crimes. This is an unfortunate opportunity missed in my opinion because with better instruction and clarity of the law for judges and juries, remedies could be applied more consistently. Then I think "hate crime" laws could actually do well to protect civil rights for everyone, not only minorities in 1930s or 1960s rural Mississippi, but also civil rights in 2025 Los Angeles or 2035 New York City. Reverse discrimination is something that interests me very much. It's striking to me how quickly (< 50 years) we have arrived at the destination to ask such questions. Perhaps there's a silver-lining in that arrival? I think reverse discrimination should be prevented through education and public policy. However, looking at our collective history, I'm not always filled with confidence on the matter. We tend to repeat our mistakes and fall back into generalizations, tribalism, racism and one-upmanship.
Joker Joe September 05, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Original Chinese Proverb: "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime" New White House Proverb: Give a man a welfare check, a free cell phone with unlimited free minutes, cash for his clunker, food stamps, section 8 housing, free contraceptives, Medicaid, ninety-nine weeks of unemployment, free meds, and he will vote for Democrats the rest of his life ... even after he's deceased.
S.A.P. September 06, 2012 at 03:31 PM
You did see the word "gender" in there, didn't you?
David & Rebecca Lara November 30, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Prosecution Of Hate Crimes Before Bullying can be stopped in our schools, it has to be stopped at our homes, streets, churches, office & communities. Orange County Sheriff Department Re Hate Crimes: "The Orange County Sheriff's Department believes that it is the right of every person regardless of race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of violent groups and individuals. "It shall be the philosophy of the Orange County Sheriff's Department that all reported cases of "hate crimes" will be fully investigated." "The California State Attorney General's Office on Civil Rights Enforcement Unit has established an Anti-Hate Violence Project. This unit is charged with instituting civil action in cases of hate violence which may not meet the burden of proof requirements necessary in a criminal case. Law enforcement agencies may forward cases to the Attorney General's Office that might be better handled through civil action or where the criminal investigation is complete and sufficient evidence for criminal prosecution is not available." For more information please call the Victim Violence Specialist at (714) 647-7498. Source: http://egov.ocgov.com/ocgov/Sheriff-Coroner%20-%20Sandra%20Hutchens/Information/Victim%20Referral%20Services/Hate%20Crimes
Joker Joe November 30, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Just talk... If, like you typed ...."to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of violent groups and individuals" then do something about it!! Start issuing concealed carry permits like other states have. The lawful citizens deserve the right to protect them selves, not just the police. The sheriff department was involved with the killing of a marine soldier while sitting in his car blocked in by patrol vehicles and his kids in the back seat. Sgt. Loggins was executed by a gun carrying police officer. He never had a chance. The sheriff's dept. and it's sheriff, chief Hutchens, can't preach to the quire. They are part of the problem.

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